A Texas mortuary is being sued for over $1m after two of its employees allegedly dropped the body of a man down a flight of steps while removing it from a condo.
The family of Juan Mejia said that as the employees carried his body out of the apartment “several thumps” were heard, and that his son went outside to find his father’s body lying exposed in the courtyard of the building.
In legal documents obtained by The Independent, the family of Mr Mejia said they suffered “severe mental anguish” after attending the wake to find “denting and bruising” on his head.
The lawsuit also states that despite one employee apologising to Mr Mejia’s son, Twinwood Mortuary later denied that the incident had occurred.
The incident occurred in June 2021, when the two employees of Twinwood Mortuary, who were not believed to be licensed funeral directors, arrived to remove the body.
“As the employees began to transport Juan Mejia’s body down the steps located outside of the condo, plaintiff William Mejia closed the door and heard a thump. Plaintiff William Mejia then heard several thumps in a row,” the lawsuit stated.
“Plaintiff William Mejia observed Juan Mejia’s head, shoulder and upper half of the body uncovered and exposed lying on the ground.
“(He) rushed down the stairs after seeing his deceased father’s body lying on the cement sidewalk of the public courtyard… (and) frantically covered his father’s body by hugging it in an attempt to shield him from being viewed by neighbors.
“Plaintiff William Mejia attempted to level the stretcher and fought to lift both Juan Mejia’s body and the metal stretcher off the ground but was unable to do so. Plaintiff William Mejia shouted at the employees to help him.”
The documents stated that one of the employees “agreed that the situation should not have happened the way it did” and “admitted that no one should have seen what the Plaintiff William Mejia saw.”
Twinwood Mortuary later claimed that the incident had not happened the way Mr Mejia’s son had explained, that the employees had “safely” put the body down to adjust their grip, and that nothing else had occurred, the lawsuit stated.
The lawsuit, filed in Harris County District Court, in Texas, alleges gross negligence and asks for damages over over $1m.
The Independent has approached Twinwood Mortuary for comment.
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